Although we know quite a bit about the artifacts, ways of making a living, and recently even the DNA of Europe’s first farmers, we don’t know anything about their language or much about what they thought or believed in. Old Europe was one of the more advanced parts of the world, especially in metallurgy, but they don’t seem to have developed writing. The Sardinians are genetically very similar to those EEF farmers, but I doubt that they can tell us much about the old culture. It’s been a long time.
Gimbutas thought she could reconstruct those cultures from female figurines and Lithuanian old wive’s tales, but that was ridiculous.
On the other hand, we know a lot about the language of the invaders, and have figured out a fair amount about Indo-European culture from linguistic archaeology. We can see that something new was added to the European genetic mix, but we aren’t sure where those invaders originated. That might be resolved, fairly soon.
We know that the Indo-Europeans crushed Old Europe and eventually imposed their language almost everywhere in Europe ( except for the Basques), but it didn’t happen all at once. I’m wondering if there were any cultures related to Old Europe – not just the high culture in the Balkans, but EEF culture more generally – that survived long enough for us to learn more about them. In particular, I’m wondering if the Minoan culture was a product of this tradition. EEF farmers certainly settled Crete, and I don’t think that any Indo-European types showed up there until the Mycenaean Greeks – although I could be wrong about that. It seems likely that the Minoans spoke a non-Indo-European language.